Improve SEO by Setting Featured Images
We Bloggers know a lot. We know to be always on the look out for tricks of the trade to improve our search engine optimization (SEO) to help increase the chances that our posts will be found in this world called the web!
We Bloggers also know a picture truly can be worth a thousand words. That’s why I want to share some tips on how to efficiently and effectively insert featured images into your blogs to improve your SEO.
These tips will tune up your blogging skills as well as help you make your featured images more accessible to search engines.
After learning these amazing tips, your posts will be that much better and make you feel like a Blogger Rockstar in the process.
What’s a Featured Image, and Why is Setting it Important?
The featured image is the ‘thumbnail’ image that represents a single blog post. Featured images are just as important, if not more important, than your title.
Why? Featured images are what people first see when they share links to your content on Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn and it is also the first image they will see when they go into your ‘blog’ section of your website.
WordPress highly recommends that you set a featured image for each post because the theme will use that image as a thumbnail photo on the main page or the archive pages to represent your blog. That’s a whole lot of eyes that can see your image.
4 Easy Steps to Set a Featured Image in Your Blog Posts
Step 1: Choose a Photo
Although you don’t have to use a featured image for every blog post, it is wise to have one since that image can be seen as a cover for your post, representing the theme, topic and content.
When setting a featured image, it is important to choose a photo that is eye-catching, compelling and appealing to reel in your readers. It is also important to choose a featured image size that fits with your theme.
If you’re having trouble choosing an image, one tip is to tweak your post’s headline. For example, try to incorporate a word that naturally lends itself to a relevant, interesting image.
If you are writing a blog about How to Cook Delicious Desserts, you could use a picture of a chocolate chip muffin if you want people to start drooling over your desserts before they even read about them.
Step 2: Insert Featured Image
After you choose an intriguing photo, the next step is to set your featured image. A quick way to do this is by installing a plugin called ‘Insert Featured Image’.
The plug-in helps you improve your workflow by adding a new button labeled “Insert & set featured image” in the bottom right corner of the window.
When clicked, this button will insert your selected media into your post AND set it as the featured image. Now, you don’t have to waste time adding an image to your post and taking a separate action to add a featured image, it’s all in one step!
How to install The Featured Image Plugin:
- In your WordPress dashboard via ‘Plugins >Add New’
- Search “Instant Featured Image”
- Click ‘Install Now’
Step 3: Name Photo for SEO
In order to optimize your photo for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you want to pick a related keyword or keyword variation related to the content of your blog post or webpage.
Google relies on textual cues to know what an image is about. So, word choice directly impacts your ranking in Google searches. You should steer away from using underscores since it will cause Google to read the title as one long word, rather than individual words. It is good to name your photo file using spaces or dashes. If you use spaces, you don’t have to delete dashes that WordPress puts in there, making it easier for you to write your title text and alt text.
When naming your photo, make sure you capture how the image relates to the content. For example, say you use the photo below as your featured image for a cooking blog and named it “Shrimp”.
This name is too simple and doesn’t tie into the post about cooking. You would want to be more specific so a better name would be, “How To Properly Grill Shrimp”.
Step 4: Set Alt Text and Title Text
The alt text will appear in association with the image and is meant to be an alternative information source for people who are unable to see the image in their browsers.
The alt text should describe what the image is about in order to get visitors interested to see it. If you post an image without alt text, your image will be displayed as an empty icon.
Alt Text is also an additional way for search engines to identify your image.
When setting your title text you should provide additional information, associated more with the title of your content. When creating these tags make sure to include your main keywords in both, but change them up so you aren’t keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you overuse certain keywords which can lead to major search engines banning your website temporarily or permanently.
Again, choosing clear and descriptive words for your alt and title text is key. Generally, this can be conveyed in five words or less.
Featured Images? Ready to Post. Workflow? Seriously Improved.
Now that you’ve mastered setting featured images, you can focus on what really matters as a Blogger, delivering outstanding content to your followers.
Your ability to breeze through setting featured images will put a little more time into your workflow and possibility drive more traffic to your site from your SEO friendly images. 🙂
Do you have tips on how to improve blogging workflow with WordPress? Share the wealth by leaving a comment here, tweet at me or shoot me a message on Facebook. You’ll be glad you did.
About This Article
I am pleased to have Tuna Traffic as a guest blogger today! What is or who is Tuna Traffic??!!
Tuna Traffic is an instrumental team of people that have helped Whole Lifestyle Nutrition’s grow over the past 3 years!
Tuna Traffic specializes in developing, marketing and managing effective and engaging web presences. Through creative design, cutting edge technology, tactical market analysis and innovative social media, we function as a one-stop interactive marketing shop. With our fin on the pulse of today’s dynamic marketplace, we offer web based services that enhance, transform and produce results. To learn more about Tuna Traffic, or to set up a free consultation, click here!
Thank you! Great tips!
Tuna Traffic says
Your Welcome. 🙂
great article! I have been doing almost all of these things, except I have been using the same name for the title and alt text. I did not know it was not good to do so. I will change it up from now on. Thanks for the tip.
Tuna Traffic says
Rachel @ Grok Grub says
Whoops, I gotta switch it up, too! Been doing the same for each…
Cameron Meyer says
Interesting thoughts about featured images. Its great idea of images that’s help us to improve SEO. You are sharing such nice information. Great work keep it up.
This article/post was so helpful and exactly the type of information I have been looking for. As not a new blogger but new to what featured images are your concise blog post helped answer a lot of my questions and confusion on how to effectively use Featured Images… so thanks.
Mathukutty P. V. says
Searched in Google ‘is featured image necessary’ and found your link. Really helpful tips. Thanks.
So I should use entirely unique image titles and alt text for every image, even when talking about, say, a batch of photographs from a single photo session on a portfolio website?
Thanks for the helpful article!
Does the featured images show up as thumbnail images in search results? Seems like a lot of cooking blogs have thumbnails in search results showing. Not so much for other niche sites. Maybe those bloggers are just more in-depth with completing that step.
Spiritual Kev says
This really helped thank you for writing a great guide. So do I always have put in the image description in the featured image where it says description. I use to just put in alt text and title. Was not sure about description.
The CryptoStaunch says
Thanks a lot for this guide on how to show featured images on google
Sumit Prajapati says
Great info you shared, Thanks for share such type of precious info.
Thank you madam! it’s an amazing post. Keep up the best.